MONTEGO BAY, St James — Minister of Justice Delroy Chuck has offered motorists who have racked up mountains of traffic tickets a solution: get a loan and pay off your debt.
"We have, you know, over 2,000 persons with over 100 tickets. We have just about 40-odd with over 500 tickets and these are the parties who when they speak to me I say, 'Man, you want some relief? Go get a loan, get a loan and pay it off. Because if it is not paid by the 31st of January, no relief will be there'," he said.
Chuck was sharing his views on the issue with a batch of 43 justices of the peace for St James during their commissioning ceremony in Montego Bay last Thursday. He reinforced his earlier expressed hard-line stance against showing leniency to road users who have racked up huge numbers of traffic fines that are then left unpaid.
Some players in the public passenger service have asked for an amnesty but the Government has been reluctant to go that route. It did, however, say that motorists who clear their tabs by January 31 will not incur demerit points. The new Road Traffic Act comes into effect on February 1, 2023.
"If you pay them by the 31st of January, all the demerit points will be waived, we're starting afresh," Chuck stressed on Thursday.
"If you fail to pay by the 31st of January, come February not only will the warrants be executed, but persons who have traffic tickets will not be able to renew their drivers' licence and will not be able to renew the motor vehicle that was a part of the traffic violation."
The Government, he said, intends to put measures in place to curb the "disorderly, chaotic behaviour" now seen on the roads.
One of the measures to be rolled out next year, Chuck told the gathering, will be an electronic ticketing system that will allow for real time data checks for potential road code violations.
"The police will have very shortly, many of them do but by January, sometime in January they will have a new electronic ticketing system. And when they punch in your name or your TRN [Tax Registration Number] everything about you will come up including if you have any traffic ticket, including if there is a warrant for execution," he said.
"What is important is that, that warrant can be executed then and there-because the machine will show that there's a warrant out-and the inconvenience that will be accorded [to the motorist] is not worth it," he warned.